Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Judge Doubles Down On Order To Move Manafort To New Jail

Judge Doubles Down On Order To Move Manafort To New Jail

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is getting the luxury treatment in jail while awaiting trial, according to a Wednesday court filing from the office of the special counsel Robert Mueller.

But in the Wednesday filing, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE argued that Manafort's claims do not hold up because Manafort has said in multiple prison calls that he has had full access to his files and attorneys.

For now the trial in Virginia is still set to begin July 25.

His lawyers had cited concerns about his safety in trying to block the transfer, but U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III didn't buy it.

Government lawyers reported Manafort had over 100 phone calls with his attorneys in the past three weeks. He has a personal laptop on which he can review materials from the case and access to his own workspace to meet with his legal team, they said.

Prosecutors say Manafort has a personal telephone that he uses to prepare for trial with lawyers.

Besides those perks, Manafort also has his own bathroom and shower, and he doesn't have to wear a prison uniform.

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The Mueller team's court filing said Manafort was being detained in a "living unit" that was bigger than that given to other inmates.

"On the monitored prison phone calls", Weissman wrote, "Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a 'VIP'".

In a D.C. court filing in which he described his jailing, Manafort had said he is kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day.

They also recently provided Manafort with 8,290 documents from the computer of his former business partner, Richard Gates, who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the prosecution.

Manafort is charged with bank and tax fraud in eastern Virginia and is separately charged in Washington with counts including money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent. Prior to being moved into his own private living space, Manafort reportedly lived in a "VIP cell" once occupied by former National Football League player Michael Vick.

Prosecutors have not yet responded to that motion, but in Wednesday's filing they question why Manafort did not file a similar request in D.C., "a venue that presumably Manafort views as akin to the Alexandria venue he seeks to avoid".

Ellis has not ruled on the Virginia continuance or the change of venue. He has scheduled a hearing on both issues for Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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